Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Riding With Disneyland Eyes

The other day I went to Dizzyland for my birthday. Killer clever marketing really, for this year the Magic Kingdom began a promotional campaign that allowed you to register on their website as to your birthdate. Then, on that day, you could print out a notification from your email and present it to the ticket booth at Disneyland and get in free. Pretty cool and really smart cuz who goes to Disneyland alone? Hardly anyone. I brought my son and wifey of course. I would not have gone unless I had the birthday deal as it costs $75.00 or so a person + food to go there for the day. I bet they are 3 or 4 to one on paying vs. non-paying b-day attendees.

But, back on track.

So, I really like Disneyland, always have and that goes back to the kiddy days when the place seemed huge (it feels smaller now) and the worlds they created inside the walls...Frontier Land, New Orleans Quarter, Main Street...were just amazing. When you are young, your eyes open wide and it all seems so real.

And that is what I did last Friday. I walked through the gates, took a deep breath and opened my eyes wide, allowing the feeling of wonder and kid-like awe to wash over me in a warm, familiar, and tingly with anticipation way. I smiled. Adventure awaits.

Yeah, there will be lines, crowds, and expensive food. No matter. That is just the price of being there and if your eyes are on all that, you are missing it big time. It will kill the wonder of the moment and the joy of the possibilities that await around the next corner.

Riding mountain bikes should be that way. It used to be. Cycling in general, but mtn biking especially. When we were new at it, there was a sense of discovery that permeated our rides. New techniques we were learning, new places we were seeing and new feelings we were...well, feeling. It was like we were kids again with the wind in our faces and the thrill of gravity as an ally, this time without overheated coaster brakes. Jumps, slides, wheelies, sunsets and sunrises, sweat, hard work, payoffs, FUN.

Time and life can dull that. We squeeze in riding between the pages of life's full book. If we are not careful, we focus on the long lines for the Matterhorn and miss the magic of a mountain top we have yet to summit, even if the snow is fake. We think about the cost of the hot dog and forget to enjoy the taste of it. We get all grown up and worry about how fast we went (or how fast we did NOT go) and never even notice where we were.

How sad for us.

The next time you clip in and set to pedaling, even if the world you have to pedal on seems smaller than it used to be and you long ago forgot how to feel the 'magic' of it all...close your eyes (not too long are riding at the moment), take a deep breath and open the eyes of the inner child that first learned to ride a bike, turned the corner out of the front yard, and headed toward a really big world full of possibilities and wonder.

It is still a very special world and we are lucky enough to be able to pedal across it. We just need to see it again. Perhaps we just need some better sunglasses.

1 comment:

Fonk said...

Hopefully they keep that deal running for quite some time, and when I do finally take the wife and kids, it will be on the twins' birthday. :)

Regarding the other point of your article, well said. Trying to fit riding (or running, soccer, whatever your pleasure is) in btwn a busy work/family schedule can seem to eventually become a bit of a chore, and we have to remind ourselves that we're doing this because we love it.